What is an example of a metaphor in Brave New World?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Let us remind ourselves that a metaphor is an example of figurative language where a direct comparison is asserted between two objects without using the words "like" or "as." You might want to look at Chapter Seven, which describes Lenina and Bernard's trip to the reservation and what they see there, for some examples of metaphors in the way that description is used. Consider the way that the dancers are presented in the following quote:

For suddenly there had swarmed up from those round chambers underground a ghastly troop of monsters. Hideously masked or painted out of all semblance of humanity, they had tramped out a strange limping dance round the square...

Note the way that the dancers are presented as being like "a ghastly troop of monsters." Their masks and their strange movements make them appear to be more inhuman than human, and so the metaphor is used to present them as monsters, emphasising these qualities, rather than thinking about them as humans.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One example of a metaphor in Brave New World can be found towards the end of Chapter 2.  There, the Director has been showing the students the rooms in which babies are being conditioned through hypnopaediea.  He explains to them how the process works.  He then says (and here the narrator of the book paraphrases) that the repeated phrases the children hear in their sleep are

drops of liquid sealing-wax, drops that adhere, incrust, incorporate themselves with what they fall on, till finally the rock is all one scarlet blob.

There are two metaphors here.  The hypnopaedia lessons are compared to drops of liquid wax while the children’s brains and selves are compared to a rock.  As the wax drops on to the rock, bit by bit, the rock disappears beneath all of the wax.  All that is left, it would appear, is the wax.  This helps us to understand how the process of hypnopaedia works to cover over the children’s minds so that all that is left is what the society wants them to believe.  They have become, to all outward appearances, not themselves (not the rock) but the sum of what they have been taught (the wax covering).


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